Pittsburgh Update

Pittsburgh Update publishes weekly summaries of recent developments in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, The Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Communion that affect or could affect Pittsburgh Episcopalians. Emphasis is on reporting, not interpretation. This is a service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh. This site is in no way affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh or the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh.

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A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Monday, March 2, 2009

News for Week Ending 3/2/2009

Archbishop of Canterbury appoints pastoral visitors

Following a recommendation by the Windsor Continuation Group endorsed by the primates at their Alexandria meeting, Archbishop of Canterbury has appointed six people to be pastoral visitors. According to an Episcopal News Service story, their job will be “to assist in healing and reconciliation” in Anglican disputes. The group includes three bishops, two laypeople, and no women. The visitors will have little authority other than what may be given them by parties to any dispute, and they will report to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Five of the visitors attended briefings at Virginia Theological Seminary February 25–28. The Living Church has provided biographical information about the visitors here.

Canadian primate thanks Burundi archbishop for opposition to border crossings

The primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, thanked Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, primate of the Anglican Church of Burundi, for that church’s stand against border crossings by Anglican bishops. According to Anglican Journal, an official publication of the Anglican Church of Canada, Hiltz expressed gratitude to his Burundi counterpart during a visit to Burundi last month. According to Anglican Journal, the Burundi church does not support the more liberal views on homosexuality held by some in the Canadian church. Hiltz noted that the Anglican Church of Canada has not yet taken a position favoring the blessing of same-sex unions, however.

A number of Anglican bishops have intervened without permission of the local bishop in dioceses of The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Episcopal Church of Brazil on behalf of disaffected conservative congregations.

Episcopal Church launches ‘I am Episcopalian’ Web site

On Ash Wednesday, February 25, 2009, The Episcopal Church launched a Web “microsite” called “I am Episcopalian.” The new site, available at http://IamEpiscopalian.org, contains short videos of Episcopalians describing what they like about their church. The site is described in an Episcopal News Service story here. A notable feature of I am Episcopalian allows visitors to upload their own videos for inclusion on the site.

Duncan releases pastoral letter on property issues

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Pittsburgh of The Episcopal Church wrote to church leaders recently to describe an exchange of correspondence with the Pittsburgh group lead by deposed bishop Robert Duncan. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Duncan has now written a letter to his flock that is posted on the Web site now identified as “The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican)” here. In his letter, Duncan criticizes the Standing Committee for its cool reply to the overture by his group. (Neither side has released the actual correspondence.) Duncan argues that the stipulation signed by all parties to the Calvary lawsuit in October 2005 does not imply that the diocese in The Episcopal Church should be given diocesan property. He argues for new negotiations to reach “an equitable distribution of Diocesan property.”